Ergonomic mice are designed for people, not just computers. They are designed with the contours of the human hand in mind. This allows a user to manipulate the mouse in a more natural, almost handshake position. Allowing for a more natural hand position alleviates any unnecessary tension and stress from your muscles or tendons. This is the biggest reason for using an ergonomic mouse; yet its importance is often underestimated, unknown or ignored.
What’s Wrong with a Standard Mouse?
A standard computer mouse puts your hand in a flat position where your wrist is slightly twisted. This forces wrist pronation and stress on your tendons. Long term exposure to this tension may lead to repetitive strain injury or long-term manoeuvrability issues. There are lots of medical conditions that have ergonomic causes in the office environment. These include muscle, tendon and nerve problems often referred to as Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD). You may have also heard the terms ‘Repetitive Strain Disorder’ and ‘Cumulative Trauma Disorder’.
Most Common Office Ergonomic Risks
Poor seating position or wrong choice of chair
Failure to use an ergonomic mouse
Wrong choice of keyboard
Elevated levels of repetition
Staying sat down for too long
Inappropriate desk height
Most Common Related Disorders
Spasms – Sudden and uncontrollable twitches and movements.
Strains – A tear in muscle fibre caused by overstretching.
Myalgia – Pain in the muscle caused by overuse or overstretching.
Tendonitis – Inflammation of the tendons or sheaths surrounding the tendons.
Tenosynovitis – Swelling of the sheath surrounding tendons.
Ligament Sprain – Caused if a ligament is overstretched.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This is perhaps the most well-known condition that is related to the improper or unfavourable use of your wrists or hands. Capral Tunnel Syndrome is an irritation of the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel in your wrist. This can be very sore and may also cause numbness or a tingling sensation in the fingers and thumb. Repetition is one of the biggest causes, especially when there is little break in movement. Excessive force, localised pressure and maintaining one position for too long can also have the same effect.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, as with most MSDs, is preventable and curable if caught early enough. Early signs may include pain, numbness, tingling or a burning sensation. Total MSD prevention involves ergonomics, proper medical management and the right equipment. An ergonomic mouse is just one example of this!
Even More Benefits!
There are even more reasons to choose an ergonomic mouse – such as the amount of required force. An ergonomic mouse is designed to require less grip strength and force than the traditional counterpart. This causes less fatigue and less tension or stress over time. What’s more – they look pretty cool too! Who wants to follow the crowd when you can stand out from it? Ergonomic mice have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, not only in aesthetic appeal, but in function and efficiency too. Don’t stick with the outdated teardrop design! Go ergonomic!